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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-04-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 27 April 1999
 US initiative on Cyprus expected in SeptemberCyprus President Mr Glafcos Clerides revealed yesterday that a new US, UN and EU backed initiative on Cyprus is expected "at the beginning of September at the latest".
President Clerides who was speaking during a press conference to mark the first year since his reelection in office, said that he is ready to return to the negotiating table, setting no preconditions for the resumption of talks and added that UN resolution lay down the terms of such talks.
In his introductory remarks, opening the press conference, President Clerides described Cyprus' course to join the EU as the "greatest achievement of the Cyprus Republic since its independence. " Moreover he added that the government will continue its effort to harmonise its legislation with the acquis communautaire.
Referring to the country's economy, President Clerides expressed satisfaction at the economy's four per cent growth rate and inflation under two per cent, adding that both indices can be favourably compared to those of EU member states . However, President Clerides expressed concern at the public deficit, which increased slightly to 5,5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product , diverging from the Maastricht criteria that set it at 3 per cent.
He added that this is mainly due to increased public expenditure, social policy measures and expenditure for the reorganisation of the economy.
He also called for the modernisation and reorganisation of the economy and said that "the government aims at reinforcing traditional sectors and developing and establishing Cyprus as a regional services centre".
Outlining the government's view on the Kosovo crisis, President Clerides stressed that "Kosovo should remain within Serb territory, refugees should return to Kosovo, as we demand the return of refugees in Cyprus under security guarantees and an international force deployed. "
 Cyprus aligned with EU decision on oil embargoThe government announced yesterday it would join the EU oil embargo on Yugoslavia, but reserves the right to examine the relevant regulation when it is approved by the EU.
Government Spokesman Costas Serezis said during his briefing yesterday that following a request by the European Union, the Foreign Minister had given the relevant instructions to Cyprus Permanent Representative in Brussels, after consulting with the President.
"In spite of the difficulties Cyprus is facing as regards the events in Yugoslavia, the Cyprus Government, as a contribution to the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, is aligned with the unanimous decision of the EU, but reserves the right to examine the relevant regulation when its is approved by the EU", the spokesman said.
"The Foreign Minister has informed the leaders or representatives of the Parliamentary parties about the Government's aforementioned decision which is based on the national interests of Cyprus and takes into account the fact that Cyprus, in any case, neither sells nor supplies fuel to Yugoslavia", he concluded.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/